Israel A No-Show At UN Human Rights Review

GENEVA (AP) -- Israel became the first nation to skip a U.N. review of its human rights record without giving a reason, leaving diplomats scrambling to figure out how to respond Tuesday.

The president of the U.N.'s top rights body, Polish diplomat Remigiusz Henczel, declared Israel a no-show at a meeting Tuesday in Geneva and then reconvened the 47-nation Human Rights Council to decide what to do.

Israel had asked Henczel in January to postpone the review.

"We're in uncharted territory here," council spokesman Rolando Gomez told The Associated Press.

All U.N. nations are required to submit to Human Rights Council review every four years. Gomez said once previously Haiti did not appear for its review, but it provided a reason.

U.S. diplomats have said the council is too focused on Israel, which said last year that it would stop cooperating with the council because of its plans for a fact-finding mission to look at Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Diplomats from nations such as Egypt quickly pounced on the absence, and the opening it could provide for other countries that might want to bow out of a rights review. But others such as Canada said Israel's previous request for a deferral meant the country could not yet be described as being uncooperative.




 
We encourage commenting on our stories to give you a chance to express your opinion. We rely upon the online community to report abuse. Repeat violators may be banned from posting comments. CLICK HERE for the witn.com guidelines for posting comments.
powered by Disqus